New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee, inaugurating the annual Surajkund Crafts Mela Saturday, hoped the success of the fair would spur other states to organise similar ones.
In his inaugural address at the 27th edition of the fair at Surajkund in Haryana, bordering the national capital, the president congratulated the Haryana government for organising the 15-day extravaganza.
He said the mela "has become a sumptuous feast of colour, festivity, a manifestation of our nation's spirit and pride in its wealth of artistic talent and skills".
"The fair is an occasion to showcase India's treasured diversity: its finest handlooms, handicrafts, fragrances and flavourful cuisine", a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said here Saturday.
Mukherjee said handicrafts and traditional arts "represent our Indian way of life".
He said the rich handicrafts and traditional arts "have sustained generations, providing sustainable livelihood and socio-economic development at the grassroots. The Indian handicrafts industry has, over the years, contributed significantly to our nation's foreign exchange earnings. This sector has always been a source of empowerment of women, youth and the disabled," the statement quoted him as saying.